Saturday, 2 August 2014

Double Figure Review - Bandai Movie Monsters Series Godzilla 2014 & MUTO

Today we are doing something a tad bit different from the norm. We will be conducting a double figure review for my latest acquisitions! Right now I am traveling abroad once more. This time I'm heading stateside. However along the way we have stopped in Bangkok for the weekend. Seeing as how this city proved to be great in the art of "figure hunting," I immediately took to the streets and tracked down a few figure stores that I frequented the last time I visited. Admittingly, I was going in expecting to snag the S.H. MonsterArts Mothra & Battra Larva Set or the new Godzilla 1995 (Birth Version). However, unfortunately, I did not see any of them. On the bright side, I was able to snag the new Bandai Movie Monsters Series Godzilla 2014 and MUTO six-inch tall vinyl figures!

When was the last time Bandai has released anything into their Movie Monsters series of figures; 2007, right? It's certainly been a long time! To commorate the release of Gareth Edward's Godzilla reboot in Japan, Bandai released the new Godzilla as well as the male MUTO in vinyl form. The figure stands a tad under six inches tall and is at least a foot (give or take an inch or two) from nose to tail.

Godzilla is sculpted pretty well and the textures and detail work on the sculpt overall is pretty well done. The coloration on Godzilla can, however, is not entirely accurate. Liberties have obviously been taken by making the figure's underside a brighter shade of gray/brown than the rest of the body. It's by no means a complaint. Bandai has always taken some liberties, one way or another, on many of their vinyl figures.

The one complaint I do have about this figure is that the teeth are not colored individually. Instead it's a single row of white paint that glosses over all the teeth. It makes this figure look like it has "horse teeth" up close. The effect is less distracting when viewing the figure from a distance or under certain lighting. Other than that, I am quite happy with how this figure looks overall.

Articulation is very standard. The shoulders legs, and base of the tail are able to be adjusted. Other than that the figure is pretty static.

Like all of Bandai's vinyl figures, Godzilla is factory packed into a plastic bag and the only bit of information about the figure is on the tag that is attached to the figure. As a kid I always removed the tags off my vinyl figures. However, as I got older, I decided to leave them on as it detracts their value. The tag design shows off the new Godzilla in all his glory.

When scaled with the Movie Monsters Series MUTO, (which I'll get to pretty soon,) Godzilla stands a bit taller. To be fair, both figures do not faithfully scale each other as the Male MUTO stands a little over half of Godzilla's total height in the film.

So, what is my final verdict? I certainly enjoy this figure. Buying it, and the MUTO, have certainly made me feel like a kid again when I used to buy Bandai's Movie Monsters Series vinyl figures in bulk whenever a new movie came out (this was around the time period when the Millennium Series films were coming out). Other than the small inaccuracies about this figure, it's pretty solid and if anyone's a completist or collects vinyl Godzilla figures, this is a definite must-have for any collection!

Now onto our new favorite winged parasite, the MUTO. MUTO in the new Godzilla film is an acronym for Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organism. In the prequel graphic novel, Godzilla: Awakening, the term was used to describe any unknown giant monsters. In the film, the name has become associated with this creature as well as its much larger female counterpart.

The Bandai Movie Monsters Series MUTO stands a tad shorter than Godzilla 2014 at around five inches. At first glance it resembles a larger version of Bandai USA's Pack of Destruction MUTO figure. However, it is actually a brand new sculpt with variable differences.

First off, the figure looks 'beefier,' closely resembling how it looked in the film. Second, the feet on this figures are toed and do not resemble hooves like on the Pack of Destruction figure. The main thing that this figure and the Pack of Destruction figure have in common is their paint job. In actuality, the MUTOs do not possess this exact color scheme in the movie. I assume that the red in its forearms came from concept designs rather than the final CG models used in the film. Still, it gives the figure and character a distinct look that sets it apart from other monsters in the Godzilla series.

The sculpt for the male MUTO is pretty well done. However, as true to Bandai's style, there are a few sidesteps that they took to mass release this figure. The mouth and extra set of arms are closed off with vinyl. I can't complain about this since this is a feature seen in all of Bandai's vinyl figures from the dawn of time.

Like Godzilla 2014, the MUTO's articulation is fairly basic. You can adjust the arms and legs on this figure, and that's essentially it.

The tag for the Movie Monsters Series MUTO is not like that for Godzilla. The graphic on the tag appears to be of the figure itself, edited under dark lighting. Perhaps official screenshots or cg models were not shared with Bandai when it came to designing the figure's tags. Who knows?

Even though the male MUTO is out of scale with the Godzilla 2014 figure, they are still fun to pit against for photos!

Overall, I'm quite happy with Bandai's MUTO vinyl figure. It is definitely better looking than Bandai USA's Pack of Destruction MUTO figure. Seeing that both Godzilla and the male MUTO have been released, it makes me wonder if Bandai will eventually release the female version into the Movie Monsters Series. Only time will tell!

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